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Every educator makes a difference. Whether you illustrate subtraction to a 2nd grader or guide two high school students through conflict resolution, your influence will be felt for a lifetime.

Certification Programs in Washington

* Online program available.


Teachers must be certificated in Washington state and hold an endorsement in at least one state-approved teaching area. Learn more about endorsement requirements on OSPI’s website.

Some endorsements require only a test, while others require an approved program and a test.

Test only: Biology, Chemistry, Choral Music, Computer Science, Dance, Earth & Space Science, English Language Arts, General Music, Health/Fitness, History, Instrumental Music, Mathematics, Middle-Level Humanities, Middle-Level Mathematics, Middle-Level Science, Physics, Science, Social Studies, Theater Arts, Visual Arts, and Designated World Languages

Program + Test: Elementary Education, Special Education, Early Childhood Education, Reading, English Language Learner, Bilingual, Agriculture, Business & Marketing, Family Consumer Sciences, Technology Education, Library Media, and Traffic Safety

Coming to Washington

We welcome teachers from other states! Out-of-state teachers applying for a Washington Residency certificate:

  • Create an E-Certification account
  • Send your transcript by email or mail to OSPI Professional Certification, PO Box 47200, Olympia, WA 98504
  • Verify your program:
    – Complete form 4020E (verification of college program) or form 4020F-1 (verification of experience outside of Washington)
    – Submit the form with a copy of your out-of-state teaching certificate
    – Endorsements completed after your program should be submitted on form 4020F-1
  • Testing: Pass Washington Educator Skills Test Basic (WEST-B) and WEST-E and NES assessments*
  • Fingerprinting & Background Check: Contact your local Educational Service District (ESD) to learn about fingerprinting.

* OSPI accepts many out-of-state tests. Submit your results to OSPI for review.

Other Pathways

More Alternative Routes

  • Are you a paraeducator with an associates degree? – Explore “Route 1”
  • Are you a paraeducator with bachelor’s degree? – Explore “Route 2”
  • Do you have a bachelor’s degree, but are not currently employed by a school or district? – Explore “Route 3”
  • Are you an emergency substitute or on a conditional certificate? – Explore “Route 4”


  • Starting salary: $36,521
  • Top of pay scale: $68,836
  • Average salary: $53,738 (2016)


  • Medical/dental/vision insurance
  • Life and accidental death & dismemberment insurance
  • Long-term disability insurance
  • Retirement benefits
  • Flexible spending account

* Pay and benefits are bargained at the local level and vary from district to district.

Our office is closed July 1 and 4.